Married college professor Michael Lane falls in love with one of his students and hatches an elaborate scheme to dispose of his wife, Elizabeth. His murder plot goes as planned. However, he... See full summary »

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Michael Lane
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Stella Mason
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George Newton
Gerald Sim ...
Peterson
Gary Watson ...
Inspector Rush
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Terry Wright ...
Detective Constable Waters
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Married college professor Michael Lane falls in love with one of his students and hatches an elaborate scheme to dispose of his wife, Elizabeth. His murder plot goes as planned. However, he soon receives an anonymous note: "I know what you did, murderer!" Prof. Lane frantically tries to discover who knows his secret... Written by L. Hamre

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7 January 1974 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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THRILLER: ONCE THE KILLING STARTS (John Scholz-Conway, 1974) **1/2
19 October 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is the first episode I've watched from this vintage TV series which is available in its entirety on R2 DVD from Network; it's been made available here on the same company's SE DVD of Hammer's superior Gothic Horror outing HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971), co-starring Angharad Rees, the same female lead in this episode.

THRILLER was the brainchild of writer Brian Clemens, the creator of the cult 1960s TV show THE AVENGERS and screenwriter of two notable Hammer horrors, DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971) and CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974; which he also directed). This episode is a standard "let's-bump-off-the-wife" plot with a middle-aged professor (American actor Patrick O'Neal) falling for his young, blonde student (Rees). The murder itself is summarily dealt with, but the alibi he creates for himself is an ingenious and intricate deception which innocently involves his colleague (Gerald Sim, from the afore-mentioned SISTER HYDE). The subsequent blackmailing and 'surprising' revelation are predictable trappings perhaps but watchable nonetheless – with the husband 'forced' to murder twice more to cover the steps of his first! Sim himself is a red-herring for the potential blackmailer and, adding to the fun, is a dogged mint-popping Police Inspector who hounds O'Neal's steps.

The 65-minute running time is a bit much given the repetitive nature of the narrative (O'Neal and Rees meeting secretly, O'Neal reading the blackmail letters, O'Neal being invited or inviting people over for a drink, etc.) but the actor is in good form as the paranoid professor.


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